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Drox Operative Preview at Gamebanshee

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Drox Operative Preview at Gamebanshee

Preview - posted by Crooked Bee on Sun 15 July 2012, 22:03:45

Tags: Drox Operative; Soldak Entertainment

Gamebanshee has put up a two-page preview of Soldak Entertainment's upcoming space action RPG Drox Operative, which is generally positive, claiming the game "could become one of the more interesting games of 2012". Have a couple of snippets:

Drox Operative, as I've already mentioned, takes the backdrop of a 4X title and drops an action-RPG on top of it. You play as a titular operative of the Drox Guild, an apolitical mercenary organization open to the bidding of any other interstellar government. In practice, that means that while you're flying around your randomly-generated galaxy, fighting enemy marauders and performing quests for the various galactic factions of your choosing, the major powers will all be exploring, terraforming and colonizing planets, and waging warfare on each other.

This is Drox Operative's big selling point, and it really does help the game stand out from other action-RPGs. Rather than working towards one specific goal, in Drox Operative you choose who to work for and why. The open-ended, strategy-style win conditions (Military, Economic, Diplomatic) ensure that you can find success by a variety of means each game, and also mean that you can either, say, give technology you've found to the barbarous Brunt race and watch them pound the galaxy into submission, or feed information to the Shadow and watch them wage an espionage war to undermine everyone else.

[...] In fact, overall, the 4X elements feel a bit pushed to the background. While more complexity opens as you level up and play multiple games (later on I actually saw rebel factions break off into whole new races for instance), and it's neat to see your actions actually change what quests are available (sabotage a planet discreetly, and they'll later ask you to fix the damage done), the ways you have to interact with other races can feel limited. Although some options, like spreading propaganda, can be plainly felt as planets descend into civil warfare, overall it's not always clear why a given race is successful when others aren't, and that's a problem when so much depends upon manipulating everyone in your favor.

Overall, Drox Operative is shaping up to be a very interesting and compelling game. Although similar ideas have been attempted recently, such as in S.P.A.Z. last year, Drox Operative is a slightly simpler and more accessible game that puts less emphasis on the strategy side and more on the RPG side. The game is still in a rough state, but as most of the problems are related to game balance, these are the sorts of things I'm fairly confident will be worked out before the game is released, especially given the proactive changes Soldak have been making via regular updates.​

You can read the preview in full here. You can also currently pre-order Drox Operative from the game's official website for just $14.99, 20% off the normal price.

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